1/20/2012 8:31 PM
Revising and Recommitting
How refreshing and revitalizing it was to have the privilege to see colleagues from throughout the University working together as a “Learning Community!” In an on-going process of commitment to the Heritage University themes of academic excellence, community engagement, access, equity, and diversity, and sustainability many members of the University took information gathered and compiled from 13 different discussion groups referred to as the “Meeting of the Minds,” and sought to determine the most important aspects of the themes and how success in achieving these aspects could be measured. In looking out into the future as far forward as 2018, it was important for members to clearly understand the definition of the themes and their meaning for Heritage University so that the focus will not be ambiguous.
It is encouraging to note as well, how well this "Learning Community" reflection aligns with the other initiatives of the University; such as the “Thought Patterns” lessons, the outstanding work on assessment and curriculum alignment from the previous day, and all that is being done to promote student learning, retention in the University, and ultimately their success in their chosen vocation.
The success of our students is the measure of our success. This is not new to us. We know this is best practice. John Dewey spoke to the importance of this reflective method of practice in his book "Experience and Education" (1938) when he stated: "To reflect is to look back over what has been done so as to extract the net meanings which are the capital stock for intelligent dealings with further experiences. It is the heart of intellectual organization and of the disciplined mind." More currently, in her review of "Collective Trust: Why Schools Can’t Improve Without It," Janet Chrispeels, points out how three decades of research brought together by the authors of the book clearly shows that "collective efficacy, collective trust, reciprocity, and cohesion are the pathways to social capital and social actions needed to improve outcomes for students."
Blog entry and photos by Dr. Charles Wheaton
Chrispeels, J. (2011). A review: Collective trust: Why schools cant improve without it. Teachers College Record. June 13, 2011.
Daly, A. J., & Chrispeels, J. H. (2008). A question of trust: Predictive conditions for adaptive and technical leadership in educational contexts. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 7(1), 30-63.
Dewey, J. (1938), Experience and education. The Macmillan company. New York.
Forsyth, P.B., Adams, C.M., & Hoy, W.K. (2011) Collective trust: Why schools can't improve without it. Teachers College Press, New York.